'Our' Collective Goodness in the Tsunami Disaster
by Jacob G. Hornberger
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Stung by the suggestion that we (please note the quotation marks) are stingy because we (quotation marks again) were sending only $15 million to the tsunami victims, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell immediately upped the ante with another $20 million in U.S. government assistance. Powell also made it clear that this is just the beginning and that we will ultimately send billions of dollars to the victims. Extolling our generosity, Powell vowed, We will do more.
So, with one quick announcement by our secretary of state, our generosity more than doubled overnight. And by vowing to send billions more in government aid to the troubled region, Powell ensured our collective goodness for the near future.
But let's be clear about the nature of our goodness, our compassion, our caring nature.
In the 20th century, we embraced a collectivized system in which we nationalized everyone's income and then made the government our agent for our goodness, compassion, and caring. The system that we adopted functions like this:
We authorize the Congress that we elect to take any portion of our income it wants, as long as the percentage is set in a democratic (i.e., majority-vote) fashion. Once that portion or percentage is democratically set, the Internal Revenue Service is authorized to use force to collect the assigned take from everyone. The IRS then delivers the take to other government agencies, which then distribute the take to the poor and needy of the world. Voila! We are caring, compassionate, and good well, as long as our government officials and agencies are caring, compassionate, and good. If they are stingy, then we are stingy.
That's in fact the underlying collectivized moral basis for the entire welfare-warfare system that we brought into existence in the 20th century. That's why we are good in Iraq —because the IRS delivered a portion of the take to the Pentagon, which then used the money to invade Iraq to bring democracy and liberation to the Iraqi people, all on the orders of the president, who is of course democratically elected by us. Voila! Through the collective, joint efforts of the IRS and the Pentagon (well, and the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve also) and the president, we are good people for what we are doing in Iraq.
For that matter, let's not forget Social Security. We are a good people because we elected a Congress that enacted Social Security, which authorizes the IRS to take a portion of our income to help the elderly. That makes us good people.
What about our American ancestors? You know, those Americans who for more than 100 years rejected income taxation, Social Security, welfare, foreign aid, and foreign wars of democracy and liberation. You know, our ancestors who believed that freedom entailed a person's keeping everything he earns and having the right to decide what to do with it without government interference — spend, donate, invest, hoard, or whatever. You know, our ancestors who had the right to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth and, without being forced to care for others, brought into existence the most charitable society in history. You know, our ancestors who believed that charity, compassion, and caring meant nothing unless it came from the voluntary heart of an individual, as compared to the collectivized force of majority vote.
Oh, they're the robber barons, the selfish ones, the ones who hated the poor. They're the ones who hated and abused their children, forcing them to fend for themselves for endless hours in dangerous sweatshops. For more information about them and their evil system of freedom and rugged individualism, just read about them in any government-approved textbook in any government-approved school to which we force U.S. parents to send their children.
December 30, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Future of Freedom Foundation